Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Twitter- Searching for a Strategic Statement

This week’s readings stressed the importance of cultivating a concise and communicable strategy statement. Each article echoed a similar outline for creating this strategy with a few variances. Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy, urged the importance of an organization specifying their advantage, scope, and the activities that would allow the advantage to meet the criteria of the scope. This article details a scientific method for creating an organization’s strategy statement. Each step allows for a fruitful ideation process but maintains the group’s focus. Can You Say What Your Strategy Is? mirrors the same sentiment of defining a scope and an advantage, but the third component of this approach is creating an objective. The objective is inclusive of an end point and an achievable time frame.

Twitter, an ever-popular company, has been struggling to meet the criteria for a strong strategic statement. In 2012, Anthony Noto-CEO presented Twitter's strategic statement to investors. He states that the goal is to “reach the largest daily audience in the world by connecting everyone to their world via our information sharing and distribution platform products and be one of the top revenue generating Internet companies in the world.”[1] Although, the length of the statement meets the criteria for a strong strategic statement the lack of focus and achievable time frame make this a weak strategic statement overall. In fact, Anthony Noto admitted that this statement is clunky and leaves him cringing when he must say it. 

In his article Why Twitter’s Mission Statement Matters, Justin Fox identifies the lack of core values as the main weakness in Twitter’s strategic statement. Fox attributes the lack of establishing core values to the fact that all of Twitter’s founders have left the company before cementing a value system. Fox explains that users define Twitter culture and that this can be detrimental, as popularity and user attention span is fleeting.[2] During the last few weeks we have learned that creating a mission statement that expresses the organization's core values is imperative to success. Without this Twitter is in jeopardy of entering a short fall. 

The main takeaway for me has been that organizations cannot truly achieve and sustain success without maintaining a single focus that is organized around a set of particular objectives. Although, Twitter has amassed success they may not be a sustainable organization. Justin Fox asks, “Can Twitter groom its BHAG and paint a vivid picture of what it will be to achieve them, while at the same time deciding on some core values.” I am left wondering the same thing. I look forward to seeing their company resolve these issues for continuous success because I do consider Twitter a staple in our generation. 

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